PDVSA’s oil spills go global

Just right after the Amuay disaster, PDVSA has another problem in its hands: this time in Ah, Oh, Curaçao.

An oil spill from the Isla Refinery, currently handled by PDVSA, has stricken the natural reserve of Jan Kok located nearby. Several wild species including flamingoes (one of them seen in the picture) call Jan Kok home.

Reporter Dick Drayer of Dutch Public Broadcaster NOS indicated that the size of the spill covers an area the size “…of around 30 football fields”. His report is available here (in Dutch). Peter van Leeuwen, a member of the enviromental group Stichting SMOC called the incident “…probably the biggest (environmental) disaster in Curacao”.

Curaçao’s government is monitoring the situation. In May, a report indicated that they would like a “modernization” of the refinery, as PDVSA’s lease runs out in 2019 and the refinery is a key element of the island’s economy. There’s a debate in Curaçao about whether to keep the refinery going or shut it down, according to this BBC article.

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